Hershey Unveils Half-Billion-Dollar Sustainable Cocoa Strategy
HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. is introducing "Cocoa For Good," a holistic cocoa sustainability strategy.
The comprehensive strategy addresses the most pressing issues facing cocoa-growing communities, such as poverty, poor nutrition, at-risk youth and vulnerable ecosystems. Hershey seeks to bring positive change in these areas through collaborative programs, partnerships and significant investment, including a half-billion-dollar commitment by 2030.
"A sustainable cocoa supply depends on a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach to find solutions to the social, environmental and economic challenges facing cocoa-growing communities," said Susanna Zhu, Hershey's chief procurement officer. "As a critical player in the cocoa value chain, we are committed to doing our part. The Hershey Co. has been partnering with key stakeholders in the cocoa sector for more than 100 years.
"Under Cocoa For Good, we continue to work toward a future where there’s a long-term, sustainable cocoa supply, the natural environment is protected, and we are creating better lives for everyone. It’s good for the cocoa farmers, families, communities, chocolate consumers and the success of our business," she added.
Cocoa For Good focuses on four key investments: Nourishing Children, Elevating Youth, Prospering Communities and Preserving Ecosystems.
Hershey’s comprehensive strategy prioritizes:
1. Increased family access to good nutrition. The company's legacy is based on the core ideal of providing opportunities for children to succeed. Healthy minds start with the right nutrition and improving access to food has a positive ripple effect, enabling children to reach their potential in school and adults to thrive in their jobs, according to Hershey.
2. Elimination of child labor and increased youth access to education opportunities. Hershey is working with partners to equip youth in cocoa-growing regions with the skills and resources needed to build successful futures in their local communities and beyond. Elimination of child labor, a known symptom of poverty, is a fundamental component of this ambition.
3. Increased household incomes for women and men. Growing the opportunity and means for women and men to sustain healthy livelihoods in cocoa-growing communities is essential to safeguarding the future of these communities, the company stated. Hershey is investing in programs to economically empower women and help all farmers support prosperous businesses.
4. Zero deforestation and increased agroforestry. Thriving cocoa communities are built on healthy ecosystems, so the company is working to protect forests and climates. Investing in innovative agroforestry methods and growing cocoa in shaded areas that are more productive are ways Hershey is working to preserve the cocoa ecosystem and protect forests.
"Cocoa is a tremendous part of the livelihoods for the people of Côte D’Ivoire and public-private partnerships are critical to improving the lives of people living in cocoa communities and protecting our precious natural resources," said H.E. Daniel Kablan Duncan, vice president of the Republic of Côte D’Ivoire. "We value our partnership with The Hershey Co. and look forward to working together to bring about the meaningful change that this new investment will catalyze."
Cocoa For Good is expected to impact the lives of thousands of farmers in cocoa-growing regions, with a focus on West Africa where about 70 percent of the world’s cocoa is grown, according to Hershey.
The Hershey Co., headquartered in Pennsylvania, is a global confectionery company with more than 80 brands.